Frioul Islands

The Frioul Islands are popular destinations for people traveling to Marseille in the southeastern part of France. These lovely Mediterranean islands complement the already gorgeous natural landscape that defines this part of the Mediterranean coast, including the majestic limestone calanques that span between Marseille and Cassis, and the Bay of Marseille itself. The Frioul Archipelago is comprised of four main islands and a series of other small, uninhabitable islands. The four main islands of Frioul are Pomegues, Rattoneau, If, and Tiboulain. Each of them offer different things to do on the Frioul Islands, from tours of the Chateau d’If on the island of If and a wide variety of resort activities and attractions between Pomegues and Rattoneau.

Ferries to the Frioul Islands depart regularly from the Vieux Port in the heart of Marseille and deliver eager passengers to a number of destinations. You can enjoy the Frioul Archipelago in a variety of ways. One way is on a guided tour, but many people also take the opportunity to take their own boats, or rent a boat, to sail out into the seemingly countless, crystal blue lagoons and inlets, where yachts and boats of all varieties drop anchor to take in the very best of the good life in the Mediterranean Sea. There is a sea wall that was constructed during the rule of Louis XVIII that has since been turned into a resort area featuring a good half mile of restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and places to enjoy some live entertainment. This sea wall connects the islands of Pomegues and Rattoneau.

Pomegues is the largest island in the Frioul Archipelago. It is also a national wildlife reserve. The entirety of the archipelago only adds up to around 500 acres, but nonetheless, this island affords amazing panoramic views of Marseille in the distance, as well as amazing views of the islands and the sea. Rattoneau is equally enchanting with its broad vistas of the sea and acres of trails and abandoned forts to explore. Although If is the smallest of the four islands, it is perhaps the most popular in terms of tourism because of the notorious Chateau d’If. This sixteenth-century fortress was made internationally famous in the middle of the nineteenth century upon release of Alexandre Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.

The ferries to the Frioul Islands virtually all stop at the island of If before heading on to the resort area between Pomegues and Rattoneau. The one-mile trip from the Vieux Port in Marseille to the island of If takes about twenty minutes. From If, you can stay on the ferries to the Frioul Islands where you will find many more modern conveniences and features, such as ice cream stores, public beaches, and tasty seafood restaurants. You can easily incorporate a Chateau d’If tour into a day of relaxing on the other islands of Frioul as well. Take your time with the tour of the fortress and the simply catch the ferry that travels about another 30 minutes to arrive at the other islands. Your time in the majestic, crystalline waters of the Mediterranean surrounding the Frioul Islands will not be something that you will soon forget.

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